03 November 2023, The Tablet

Liverpool makes largest aid delivery yet to Ukraine

“When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat – you didn’t write me a cheque.”

Liverpool makes largest aid delivery yet to Ukraine

Last week’s aid delivery was the sixth from the Archdiocese of Liverpool, and the largest yet.
Archdiocese of Liverpool

The Archdiocese of Liverpool has delivered 500 boxes of clothing, blankets, blow-up mattresses, toiletries and medical supplies to a bishop in Ukraine.

Bishop Gregory Komar, an auxiliary of the Diocese of Sambir-Drohobych, is now distributing aid from the latest #Liverpool4Ukraine appeal, including 86 Zimmer frames and 40 sets of crutches.

The supplies were bought with donations to the appeal and support from Greenmount Projects, The Brick, Chorley & District Ukraine Support group and the supply chain of Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust.

The delivery was the sixth and largest delivery to date from Liverpool, said Martin Miller, the archdiocese’s chief operating officer. “For every trip, we have adapted our processes based on our previous experiences,” he said.

A 12-tonne vehicle was deployed for the first time to help transport goods. “This enabled us to take even more donations for those who need it the most,” said Miller.

The vehicle left Wigan on 24 October for a 1,400 journey to Kroscienko in Poland, where it met representatives of Bishop Komar on 17 October, who are distributing the supplies across the Lviv region.

Archdiocesan representatives deliver aid supplies in Kroscienko.
(Picture: Archdiocese of Liverpool) 

Miller was present as part of a small group from the Archdiocese who had flown to Poland. On behalf of Bishop Komar, Andrew Quinlan thanked everyone who had participated in the #Liverpool4Ukraine appeal: “He said how important the personal touch of us physically going there is as they feel so isolated in Ukraine,” said Miller.

“Logistically, the aid makes it easier for them to provide items that people in Ukraine so desperately need, without them having the difficulty of sourcing them. Emotionally, it gives them a positive boost that they are not alone.

“Andrew summed it up perfectly by saying: ‘When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat – you didn’t write me a cheque.’”

The archdiocese’s link to Ukraine arose via Bishop Gregory, a former pupil of the Liverpool priest Fr Francis Marsden. They met when Fr Marsden was lecturing at the seminary where the future bishop was studying in Lviv.

In August, Bishop Gregory visited the archdiocesan offices in Liverpool to thank supporters of the #Liverpool4Ukraine appeal.

“The people of Liverpool have helped so much,” he said. “Life in Ukraine has changed – many people have lost relatives, lost jobs, lost homes, and many have had to leave Ukraine. If we didn’t get the help we’ve received we don’t know where we’d be – it would certainly be much worse.”

Miller said: “The appeal would not be possible without the continued support of our archdiocese and I would like to thank everyone who has helped or donated since we started #Liverpool4Ukraine in early 2022.”

Bishop Gregory Komar on his visit to the archdiocese.
(Picture: Archdiocese of Liverpool)

The Saint John of God Hospitaller Services (SJOG) and Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) have renewed appeals for support of their Homes for Ukraine scheme, which has supported 200 refugees since its launch last September.

The SJOG and CSAN matching scheme brings hosts and guests together and facilitates safe travel to the UK. Potential hosts can register at sjog-homesforukraine.uk.

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